Oklahoma prisons chief: Minister OK’d inside death chamber

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has reversed its position and now says it will allow an anti-death penalty minister inside the execution chamber for an upcoming execution. The department said Tuesday it would not allow the Rev. Jeffrey Hood of Arkansas inside the death chamber for Thursday’s execution of Scott Eizember. The agency cited Hood’s history of anti-death penalty activism, including arrests. But Corrections Director Steven Harpe on Wednesday said he was reversing that decision after consulting with the family members of Eizember’s victims, who want Thursday’s lethal injection to proceed. Prison officials say Hood has agreed to follow strict guidelines while inside the execution chamber.